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European Year of Education through Sport 2004

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European Year of Education through Sport 2004

The objective of the European Year of Education through Sport 2004 was to encourage partnerships between the worlds of education and sport in order to promote the educational and social values of sporting activity.


Decision No 291/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 February 2003 establishing the European Year of Education through Sport 2004 [See amending acts].


Sport has become a major economic and social phenomenon in the European Union. The European Community has, on several occasions, recognised the important social and educational role of sport. A declaration annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam emphasises the role of sport in forging identity and bringing people together. The Nice European Council, in December 2000, drew attention to sport's "social function in Europe, of which account should be taken in implementing common policies". The European Year of Education through Sport accordingly focused on these educational and social functions.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, as well as the Euro 2004 football tournament in Portugal, boosted media coverage of sport, heightened public awareness and provided an opportunity to promote its values.


The objectives of the European Year of Education through Sport 2004 were as follows:

  • to make institutions and sports organisations aware of the need for cooperation in order to develop education through sport and its European dimension;
  • to take advantage of the values conveyed through sport to develop knowledge and basic skills allowing young poeple to improve their physical and social abilities, mainly through the school curriculum (teamwork, solidarity, tolerance and fair play in a multicultural framework);
  • to promote awareness of the positive contribution that voluntary activities make to non-formal education for young people;
  • to encourage the exchange of good practice concerning the role sport can play in education systems to promote the social inclusion of disadvantaged groups;
  • to consider the problems relating to the education of young sportsmen and sportswomen involved in competitive sports.


The activities and initiatives undertaken during the Year were run at Community, transnational, national, regional and local level, and were co-financed by the Community. The activities that were supported as part of the European Year of Education through Sport comprised the following:

  • meetings, European educational competitions and events highlighting achievements and experiences on the theme of sport;
  • voluntary actions at European level during Olympic and other sporting events in 2004;
  • information and promotional campaigns, including cooperation with the media to disseminate the educational values of sport;
  • events promoting the educational value of sport and showcasing examples of good practice;
  • financial support for transnational, national, regional or local initiatives to promote the objectives of the Year.

The Community contributions were allocated on the basis of the type of action:

  • measures that were Community-wide in nature were subsidised from the general budget of the European Union up to a maximum of 80% of the total cost;
  • measures of Community interest which were local, regional, national or transnational in nature were co-financed from the general budget of the European Union up to a maximum of 50% of the total cost.

Other forms of action were given moral support (authorisation to use the logo and other materials associated with the Year).


The Member States designated bodies having responsibility for coordination and local implementation of the measures taken.

The Commission assumed responsibility for the overall implementation and coordination of the Year's activities, including the selection of projects co-financed from the EU budget, in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. It was assisted by a Committee. In the course of the project selection procedure, the Commission took into account the opinion of the bodies designated by the Member States for implementing the projects, and ensured a balanced distribution among the Member States. Moreover, the Commission ensured that the measures taken were consistent with and complementary to other relevant Community actions and initiatives as well as existing national and regional initiatives, where these contributed to meeting the objectives of the Year.

Financial provisions

A budget of EUR 12.1 million was allocated at European level for the preparatory period (2003) and the Year itself. The budget was complemented by other initiatives by the Commission and Member States and by actions financed by other parties.

Participation by certain third countries

The European Year was open to participation by the 25 Member States, the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Economic Area (EEA), in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement. Bulgaria and Romania were also able to participate in accordance with the conditions laid down in their respective European Agreements and Turkey by means of additional appropriations.


By 31 December 2005 at the latest, the Commission must submit a report on the implementation, results and overall assessment of the European Year.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 291/2003/EC [adoption: codecision COD/2001/0244]



OJ L 43 of 18.02.2003.

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 786/2004/EC



OJ L38 of 30.04.2004.

Regulation (EC) No 885/2004



OJ L68 of 01.05.2004.

See also

For more information, see the site dedicated to the European Year of Education through Sport and the European Commission's dedicated sports site

Last updated: 12.09.2005